We're not going to front like we understand exactly how it works, but two IBM researchers in California have announced that they've gotten closer to controlling the orientation and magnetic spin of individual iron atoms on a copper surface, which would have huge implications for nanotech storage -- imagine the basic tech in your hard drive shrunk down the molecular level. At the same time, a different set of IBM researchers in Switzerland have discovered a way to make individual molecules act like "switches" without altering the framework of the molecule, which could lead to molecular logic circuits. IBM is reluctant to even hypothesize ways these discoveries could be applied -- Andreas Heinrich, one of the California scientists, compared such speculation to asking the same question to "people in the '70s, where they had a roomful of computing equipment that could basically do what you can do nowadays on your cell phone" -- but we're not so shy: this obviously means we're closer to a 1TB flash iPhone. You heard it here first.

[Via Yahoo!]